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Waterside campus constructors come to the rescue of Sea Cadets cut adrift by health and safety fears

Date 2.11.2017

The team behind the University of Northampton’s new campus has come to the rescue of the town’s Sea Cadets, after a series of companies refused to install a badly needed front door at their headquarters.

Northampton Sea Cadets’ Lieutenant, Chris Read, was becoming exasperated after receiving knock-backs from three door-fitting firms who were put off by the building’s location – on an island in the middle of the River Nene.

“All refused to even quote for the work due to access and health and safety concerns,” said Lt Read.

“Problems with getting to the site means we have difficulties having large materials delivered.  Or if a company says it can deliver, the price rises significantly so it’s out of our reach – we are a charity and rely on local support for funds.

“The headquarters’ door was fitted 35 years ago, was rusted and uninsulated, while a storm had damaged it, meaning it was patched up and not particularly secure.”

Given the building’s close proximity to the University’s new Waterside Campus – which is in the final stages of construction on the other side of the river bank – Lt Read contacted the institution in the hope of finding a solution.

The University put the cadets in touch with construction company Bowmer & Kirkland, which is building the campus, and supplied and fitted the door free of charge.

Nick McQuaid, Bowmer & Kirkland contracts manager, said: “When we heard about the trouble the cadets were having trying to get a new door delivered and fitted, we were only too happy to help.

“Access to the island can be tricky, but our team were determined not to let the cadets down.”

Lt Read said: “We are very grateful to Bowmer & Kirkland and the University for their help. The door improves the look of the building, making it a more secure and welcoming environment.

“Being based just a matter of yards from the new campus has been a point of excitement for all of us involved with the cadets, and we are looking forward to continuing our excellent relationship with the University.”

Northampton Sea Cadets has been based on Calvesholme Islands, at the rear of Beckets Park, since 1951. Established in 1942, the registered charity aims to help young people progress to responsible adulthood using watersports and the theme of the Royal Navy.

The unit comprises 130 members aged between 10 and 18, supported by 28 unpaid adult volunteers.

The £330m Waterside Campus will open to students in September 2018 – find out more at the Hello Waterside website.

Pictured are Bowmer & Kirkland contract manager, Nick McQuaid (left) and Andrew Jolley, Northampton Sea Cadets chairman, with cadets Frankie Gallop, Ethan Hayes, Jade Taylor and Kallem Lovell.